Stand tall and beat bad posture
So, here’s the thing. I don’t like to moan – no really, I don’t – but recently I’ve been a bit achey in my shoulders and neck. My usual trick of fizzing a Solpadeine into a big glass of water can only be relied upon for a couple of days, because it’s a bit addictive and you’re not supposed to have them for more than three on the trot. And there’s only so much medicinal gin a girl can drink in the evening before the contents of one’s recycling box get the neighbours all a twitter.
So I’ve been thinking that maybe I need to consider a more holistic approach to my irritation. The thing is, though, that irritation is really all I have wrong with me. I’ve never had a problem with my back – not like Mr Muddy who who has to wear one of those (ever-so sexy) supportive back braces every time he lifts something heavy.
So I was feeling a bit like a fraud when I booked an appointment to see a chiropractor. I know what you’re thinking – a flipping chiropractor? It seems a bit drastic.
Yes, like Brussels sprouts and Brexit, chiropractic has the power to divide. You either love all that popping and clicking. Or you hate it. Truth be told, I’m not a massive fan. But I’d been recommended this non-popping therapy called Network Spinal Analysis. Haven’t heard of it? Then make a mental note.
Network Spinal Analysis (NSA) is a pioneering chiropractic technique that uses the nervous system to promote self-healing. Precise and gentle touches to the spine assist the brain in developing new strategies to release the tension in the nervous system that has been caused by physical and mental stresses.
I met the beautifully aligned Priscilla Stevens, a chiropractor and NSA practitioner at Vibrant World Chiropractic in Guildford for a posture analysis. I always thought I had pretty good posture – I don’t slouch and I sit with my back fairly straight. And while it is okay – we found my posture was deviating a little from what is considered normal.
It’s something I hadn’t thought much about before now. But Priscilla says a lot of people don’t even realise they have a problem. She uses the analogy of a car, saying we get our cars serviced regularly to make sure nothing goes wrong. And yet with our own bodies it’s not until they break down badly that we seek help.
And often it’s not a matter of ‘fixing’ a major problem, but just making tweaks so we can feel the best we possibly can. My consultation with Priscilla showed that my posture was pretty good. My head had tilted and shifted to the left, which is apparently unusual in a right-handed person. My ribcage, however, has shifted a little to the right.
My head has shifted forwards about 5cm, but Priscilla said this wasn’t too bad compared to a lot of people who work at a computer screen. My shoulders had shifted backwards.
Priscilla has suggested a series of short exercises to do during the day, to break up the time I spend at the computer, and to help coax my body into better position, which should alleviate those aches and pains. She also suggests I use a foam roller to help ease the tension. I tried the roller in Priscilla’s treatment room, and they really are the bees knees – I ordered on the following day and have been using it regularly.
I’ve been following Priscilla’s programme for two weeks now, and already my gin intake has scaled back. My body feels lighter and more free, and the aches have disappeared. And the best thing is that I’ll carry on with the programme because it’s easy to do and only takes a few minutes – and I love how I feel.